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County reports healthy financial picture through November

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners received an early holiday present Tuesday with the report of the January-November expenditures and revenues for the county given by Finance Director Diane Sorensen — for the first time in 2010, revenues within the Solid Waste Landfill Fund exceeded expenditures.

The news was one piece of the report that indicated the county remains on financial ground overall, with only a few weak spots.

The good news for the Solid Waste Landfill Fund indicates that, while revenues are still down approximately 13 percent from 2009, expenses within the fund have also decreased.

By the end of November, expenses had decreased about $410,000 or 48.6 percent compared to 2009.

While much of the decrease can be attributed to the 2009 construction of an additional cell at the landfill that cost $311,000, even without the cell construction, the fund has seen decreased expenses amounting to $98,000 or 18.5 percent.

Expenses currently sit at 74 percent of the 2010 budget in the fund.

The General Fund also shows below-budget expenditures, as well as increased revenues.

By the end of November, revenues in the fund exceeded expenditures by $2.5 million — an increase over 2009 of $1.1 million.

Total revenues in the fund have increased 2 percent over 2009 and sit at 100 percent of the 2010 budget.

The most significant increase in revenues came in the form of a 19-percent increase in property tax revenue over 2009, which was caused by an increase in assessed valuations.

Sales tax revenues are also up 41.5 percent compared to 2009 due to the $1 million received from the state for sales tax revenues not paid to the county 2003-2008. Sales tax revenues are split between the General Fund and the Road Capital Improvement portion of the Road and Bridge Fund.

Related to the property and sales tax revenues increases, treasurer’s fees have increased 24.7 percent or $163,800 over 2009.

Fleet revenues have increased 11.8 percent over 2009 ($61,900) and sit at 93.8 percent of the 2010 budget. The increase in revenue for fleet is due to the fact that the county’s equipment and vehicles are requiring more repair, which the relevant department is charged for.

While General Fund revenues have increased, expenditures in the fund continue to fall below budgeted amounts.

By the end of November, expenditures sat at 79 percent of the 2010 budget — 12 percent below the expected amount of 91.67 percent.

Expenditures are below 2009 levels partially because of the reduction in transfers from the fund to various special revenue funds that were eliminated retroactive to Dec. 31, 2009, as a result of the Government Accounting Standards Board.

Unlike the Solid Waste Landfill and General funds, the Road and Bridge Fund, including Road Capital Improvement and 1A Roads, is under water for the year, with expenditures exceeding revenues by about $791,500 through November.

Revenues in the fund have decreased $179,000 compared to 2009, but sit at 93 percent of the expected amount for 2010. Revenues were higher in 2009 due to RCI capital grants received.

Operating revenues in the fund have increased 14 percent ($603,000) over 2009, with the increase attributed to the unanticipated sales tax revenue and an increase in Highway Users Tax Funding.

Also due to the RCI capital projects in 2009, expenditures have declined 32 percent from 2009 and are at 82.4 percent of the budgeted amount for 2010.

randi@pagosasun.com